Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

Melges 24 European Championship - Light and shifty opening day

by Justin Chisholm on 6 May 2014
Day 1 - Melges 24 European Championship 2014 © Pierrick Contin http://www.pierrickcontin.fr/
The 62 crews contesting the MKB Bank Melges 24 European Championship 2014 had a challenging first day of racing on Lake Balaton in Hungary today with two races completed in light, shifty and hard to predict breezes.

With the winds getting lighter and the shifts harder to read as the day went on, consistency was a rare commodity throughout the fleet.

Among those who did manage good results in both races were Italian Matteo Balestrero on ITA 693 'Giogi' with two second places and Geoff Carveth on GBR 694 'Gill Race Team'with a pair of thirds.

These two sit in first and second overall tonight, two points ahead of Ian Ainslie's Hungarian entry HUN 392 'Strange Brew'who followed up a seventh in the first race with a win in the second race.

A ninth and a fourth for Austria's Franz Urlesberger on AUT 681 'Schoenherr'leaves him in fourth place overall, five points behind Ainslie and two points ahead of fifth placed Italian, Matteo Ivaldi at the helm of Franco Rossini's Swiss entry SUI 825 'Blu Moon'.


Winner of the first race, Andrea Racchelli on ITA 735 'Altea', could only manage a nineteenth place in the second race and sits in seventh overall at the end of the first day.

In the 35-strong Corinthian division (no professional sailors allowed), Estonia's Tonu Toniste on EST 790 'Lenny'leads with a Corinthian 3,2, scoreline from Finland's Tomi Hakola on FIN 742 fundanything.com in second with a 2, 9, score, and Denmark's Peter Warrer on DEN 779 'Salty Dog'whose 4,7, performance puts him in Corinthian third overall.

It was another Danish helmsman, Kris Houmann on DEN 612 'melges.dk', who won the first race in the Corinthian division (eighth in the overall fleet) and he sits in fifth Corinthian place tonight.

Swiss sailor Michael Good topped the Corinthian standings in the second race (sixth in the main fleet) and lies in fourth Corinthian place tonight.

After an initial general recall on the start of the first race of the opening day, the fleet got away with individual recalls for just four boats. The first beat saw the breeze up to 10 - 11 knots for a short while with the fleet predominantly working the middle to left hand side of the course

At the first windward mark it was Matteo Balestrero on ITA 693 'Giogi'who rounded in first place ahead of Andrea Racchelli on ITA 735 'Altea'in second and Geoff Carveth helming GBR 694 'Gill Race Team'in third.

These three teams remained locked in close combat down the run and up the second beat.


At the second windward mark Racchelli had managed to squeeze past into first place - a lead he extended on the final leg to take the race win. Balestrero and Carveth continued to duel it out on the final leg but finished in the same order with Balestrero taking second and Carveth third.

After almost an hour's delay to allow a new breeze to try to establish itself and two subsequent general recalls, the race committee got the fleet away cleanly at the third attempt in six to eight knots of breeze.

Ian Ainslie on HUN 392 'Strange Brew' and Hermann Horn-Johannessen on NOR 732 'Rett Rundt Hjornet!' both got away very quickly and smoothly at the pin end of the line and took the early lead on the left side of the course.

At the first windward mark it was Ainslie who led by a length from Corinthian helmsman Michael Good on SUI 382 'Aile'in second, Balestrero in third and Carveth in fourth. By the end of the first downwind leg Ainslie had extended his lead a little and Balestrero had moved up into second ahead of Good in third.

Ainslie and Balestrero picked their way up the right hand side of the second beat and in the process significantly extended their lead over the chasing pack. With the breeze becoming increasingly light as the leg went on Balestrero was able to close down Ainslie's lead to just one boat length at the penultimate cross before the second windward mark.

Then, when they converged again on the starboard layline just boat lengths from the mark, Ainslie had to execute a perfect leebow tack just feet ahead the Italian boat to protect his lead.

Ainslie and the Hungarian crew held their nerve on the final downwind leg, pulling away from the chasing Italian crew and taking the win. Behind them, Balestrero ghosted home in second and Carveth worked his way back into third place by the finish.


Overall leader Matteo Balestrero said his team's two second places were the result of excellent crew work, good boat speed and excellent calls by his tactician Nicola Celon (winner of the 2006 Melges World Championship in Hyeres, France).

'The winds were very light and shifty so it was hard racing today,' said Balestrero. 'I just concentrated on driving fast, the crew did a good job on the boat handling, we had good speed and Nico made really good choices in both races.'

'Today was a good day for us,' he added with a broad smile. 'We are very happy with our results.'

Corinthian leader Tonu Toniste from Estonia, who sits in tenth place overall in the 62-boat fleet at the end of the first day, confirmed the light conditions had been taxing on the brain.

'It was quite light all day so it was very hard to work out which way to go,'Toniste said. 'You had to pick a side on the first beat, give it your best shot and hope you were right by the time you reached the windward mark. We had some lucky moments in both races today.'

Racing at the MKB Bank Melges 24 European Championship 2014 continues tomorrow when up to three races may be sailed. More light winds are expected.

The 10-race series runs through until Friday May 9 with up to three races scheduled each day.



Day 1 - Melges 24 European Championship 2014 ©  Pierrick Contin http://www.pierrickcontin.fr/
Day 1 - Melges 24 European Championship 2014 © Pierrick Contin
Event website

PredictWind.com 2014Barz Optics - Kids rangeProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Wendy Tuck
For Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, one race around the world was never going to be enough. For Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, one race around the world was never going to be enough. And as a result, she’s set to make history in the Clipper 2017-18 Race as the first Australian skipper to complete the arduous ocean challenge twice.
Posted on 24 Mar
Round the Rocks kick's off St. Thomas International Regatta
Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in St. Thomas International Regatta. Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from the Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta. Set for March 24 to 26, this three-day regatta known as the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’ will be prefaced by the second Round the Rocks Race on March 23, which features a circumnavigation of the 19-square-mile neighbouring U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.
Posted on 23 Mar
Vendée Globe – A hugely popular event and media success
With 29 skippers setting sail and 10 nations represented, the eighth edition offered a wide range of projects The results show huge increases everywhere: many more people attending the event, unprecedented media coverage and feedback, a record level of international coverage without talking about the very positive race outcome in terms of the rankings.
Posted on 23 Mar
RC44 Championship Tour heads to Lanzarote for final regatta
For 2017 the fleet will return to Europe's southern shores with racing hosted from the new facility, Marina Lanzarote The Calero Marinas have been a regular winter destination for the RC44 fleet over the years having hosted four regattas and three World Championships between 2010 and 2013.
Posted on 23 Mar
35th Garda Meeting Optimist preview
Less than one month to the start and already 985 pre-entries from 28 different nations. Less than one month to the start and already 985 pre-entries from 28 different nations. Puertorico and Thailand are the news of 2017, with five and three helmsmen registered. The largest representations are from Germany, Italy, Denmark, Swedish, Poland, Finland, Norway, Russia and Hungary.
Posted on 23 Mar
Less than a month to go to 8th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth
To date, 66 teams have signed up for the event, which bodes well for an exceptional vintage Péan will be casting an expert eye over the event that occurs 10-15 April. A seasoned and talented sailor, he boasts one of the most prestigious track records in French sailing, with victories logged in the Solitaire du Figaro in 1983, then the Whitbread (a crewed around-the-world race with stopovers) in 1986.
Posted on 22 Mar
The Nations Trophy – National pride at stake
It is an event which celebrates the spirit of international sailing, and reflects the camaraderie and competitiveness The racing in Palma will be conducted by the Real Club Náutico de Palma (RCNP), organizer of some of the world’s most respected events including SailRacing PalmaVela and Copa del Rey Mapfre.
Posted on 22 Mar
Transat Jaques Vabre – Oman Sail takes on Class 40 challenge
The new campaign is the latest stage of the relationship between Al Hasni, one of Oman's most promising sailors Oman Sail has revealed a new adventure for 2017 as the pioneering national initiative takes on a double-handed Class 40 challenge pairing up mentor and long-term skipper of various Oman Sail projects, Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, with his protégé and Oman Sail’s most successful offshore sailor, Fahad Al Hasni.
Posted on 22 Mar
RORC Easter Challenge – Free expert coaching
A coach can optimise practice time, provide detailed analysis via both stats and video, can examine specific issues If you want to do better out on the race course, you could buy yourself a newer, more competitive boat. Or sail with a better crew. Or could buy some new sails. Or put in some practice. But keelboat crews frequently forget that one of the best value methods is to employ a coach.
Posted on 22 Mar
Vestas 11th Hour Racing launch Volvo Ocean Race campaign
Vestas are returning for a second edition, after launching their 2017-18 campaign in partnership with 11th Hour Racing Vestas 11th Hour Racing will be led by the American duo of Charlie Enright and Mark Towill. The team are the fourth to announce for the upcoming edition, which begins on 22 October, and they will use the race to promote a sustainability message around the world.
Posted on 21 Mar